In-form Greece are favourites to take a first-leg advantage when they host Romania in their World Cup play-off on Friday.
Fernando Santos' side missed out on automatic qualification for next year's tournament in Brazil on goal difference, after finishing level on points with Bosnia-Herzegovina in Group G.
Greece should head into the first leg at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus with plenty of confidence, though, having won their last six games without conceding a goal.
The 2004 European champions won eight of their 10 qualifiers and conceded only four goals in the process, amassing more points than any other second-placed side in the European qualifying groups.
However, Greece, who are ranked 15th in the world, will be without Kyriakos Papadopoulos against Romania as the Schalke defender continues to struggle with a knee injury.
Konyaspor striker Fanis Gekas, 33, has been recalled by Santos in an experienced squad that also includes skipper Giorgos Karagounis, 36, and 34-year-old midfielder Costas Katsouranis.
Greece have appeared in just two World Cup finals, the second of which was in South Africa three years ago.
Romania have not featured in the finals since the 1998 showpiece in France, but they kept their hopes of reaching Brazil alive by securing a play-off place in Group D.
Victor Piturca's side finished nine points behind runaway pool winners the Netherlands, but did enough to end two and three points above Hungary and Turkey.
They will be without captain Vlad Chiriches after the defender suffered a broken nose playing for Tottenham against Newcastle in the Premier League, but Piturca is hopeful that the side can cope without the centre-back.
"Chiriches is very important for us, not only because he's our captain. But, as I said many times, no team is dependent on only one player," he said.
Striker Adrian Mutu, Romania's joint-leading record goalscorer, was omitted from Piturca's squad, but the likes of Getafe striker Ciprian Marica and Genclerbirligi forward Bogdan Stancu will provide an attacking threat.
Meanwhile, Manchester City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon was called up after Ciprian Tatarusanu injured his back in training. First-choice keeper Tatarusanu remained with the squad, though, and could feature on Friday.
|9||K. Mitroglou||14' 66'|
|Coach: Fernando Santos|
for G. Maniatis 77'
for K. Mitroglou 80'
for K. Katsouranis 86'
|Ba left out of Senegal AFCON squad|
|Redknapp frustrated by penalty call|
|Wenger sees Giroud wrongs|
|Premier League schedule a ´disgrace´, says Poyet|
|Championship Review: Bournemouth stay top, Heskey scores on Bolton debut|
|Hughes lauds Bojan performance|
|Koeman: Saints marching on|
|Pardew rues referee error|
|Arsenal 2 QPR 1: Sublime Alexis secures the spoils|
|Martinez questions Walters decision|
|Poyet laments Sunderland mistakes|
|League One Review: Swindon cruise to win over Walsall|
|Irvine aware of need for improvement|
|United still doing ´very bad things´ - Van Gaal|
|Lambert proud of players despite Swansea defeat|
|Warnock bemoans Palace defence|
|Bruce hails Hull´s spirit|
|Pochettino relieved to come away with victory|
|Dyche: We had our pocket pinched|
|Monk hails Fabianski performance|
|Pearson demands greater concentration from Leicester|
|Kompany set for City return|
|Rodgers hails character after battling win|
|League Two Review: Ainsworth frustrated by Luton, Shrewsbury go top|
|Everton 0 Stoke City 1: Lacklustre Everton slip to defeat|
|Sunderland 1 Hull City 3: Triumphant return for Bruce|
|Burnley 0 Liverpool 1: Sterling wins it at Turf Moor|
|Leicester City 1 Tottenham 2: Eriksen piles misery on Pearson´s men|
|Manchester United 3 Newcastle United 1: Rooney extends hosts´ streak|
|West Brom 1 Manchester City 3: Three and easy for in-form champions|
|Swansea City 1 Aston Villa 0: Hosts break Boxing Day duck|
|Crystal Palace 1 Southampton 3: Mane marks return with star performance|
|Allardyce upbeat despite defeat|
|Van Dijk happy at Celtic - Deila|
|Table-topping Chelsea delight Mourinho|
|Chelsea 2 West Ham 0: Mourinho´s men ease to victory|
|Suarez enjoying Messi, Neymar link-up|
|A-League Review: Garcia rescues point for Perth, Adelaide up to second|
|Poyet calls for mid-season break|
|Van Gaal rules out Januzaj move|
|Rodgers: Balotelli may have to get used to bench|
|Lallana: I was trying too hard|
|Walker juggles music, football careers in Sweden|
|Song to face ´brother from another mother´ Fabregas|
|Adriano announces Le Havre deal|
|Pardew braced for Old Trafford test|
|Lescott unfazed by City reunion|
|Tskhadadze appointed Georgia coach|
|United to finish top three - Ferdinand|
|Allardyce: Stamford Bridge stalemate saved my job|
|Southampton need three January signings, says Watson|
|Liverpool can make Champions League, says fanzine editor|
|Walsh: Hull clash crucial for Leicester|
|Toure, Aubameyang and Enyeama make shortlist for African gong|
|Docherty backs Chelsea to win two-horse race|
|Liverpool could benefit from Hyypia influence - Scales|
|Saudi Arabia name Asian Cup squad|
|Forty-year-old Cahill no problem for Postecoglou|